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Maryland Court Decision Information
Last week, Pit Bull Rescue Central was as shocked as many others in the pit bull community when we learned that the Maryland Court of Appeals issued a ruling that changed the state’s common law in such a way that could have seriously detrimental impacts for pit bull owners.
If you have a tenant who owns a pit bull that has not caused problems, this court ruling does not mean that the dog living in your rental property is suddenly any more dangerous than it was the day before the ruling was issued. Review the best practices of responsible ownership with your tenants and make sure your tenants understand to never leave their dogs unattended outdoors or to let them roam at large; it is recommended that you add a rider to the lease that requires your tenants’ dogs be spayed or neutered. We urge you to share the educational materials on our site with your tenants.
If you are a homeowner, we urge you to research pit bull friendly insurance options. The ruling may not have an impact on your homeowners insurance, but in case it does, PBRC has a list of pit bull-friendly insurance companies on our website, which you can find at this link.
FOR ALL MARYLAND RESIDENTS:
Pit bull owners in Maryland should contact their state and local representatives to respectfully express their concern about this court ruling. If you aren’t sure who your local representative is, you can search on the Maryland General Assembly website to find your senators and house representatives. Remember that it's very important to be concise, polite and clear in your communications. If you need help drafting a letter to your representatives, Stop BSL has published useful letter-writing tips on its website, and you can visit our BSL page for talking points on why breed-specific laws are ineffective.
Multiple organizations – in Maryland and across the country – are on your side. If you would like to get in touch with local groups trying to gather resources to help fellow pit bull owners, contact B-More Dog (you can ask to join their Facebook group here) or Jasmine's House rescue, both located in Baltimore, or Maryland Votes for Animals. Join their mailing lists and ask what you can do to help. There's also a Facebook group called Stop Maryland Pit Bull Discrimination that has been established to keep Maryland residents informed about this court ruling. The Humane Society of the United States is making it easier for Maryland residents to contact their representatives. They have a simple how-to form on their website explaining how to contact your representatives and what you can say to them click here.
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